In honor of National Sunglasses Day, on June 27, Yahoo Lifestyle spoke to the man behind the ubiquitous Matrix-inspired sunglasses trend that’s taken the fashion industry by storm. Bella Hadid, Solange, and Kourtney Kardashian are just a few of the celebrities who have worn the designs by George Keburia, an unknown designer from Tbilisi, Georgia, who launched his “tiny sunglasses” before Prada and Alexander Wang debuted their own versions.
The shades possess a futuristic appeal, similar to those worn in The Matrix, which is cited by Keburia as inspiration. “I was thinking about many shapes. I wanted [them] to be really sleek and classic,” Keburia tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
They are indeed sleek, narrow, and classic just as Keburia intended. And while they are not entirely practical, that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent for the fashion community (remember clear plastic jeans?).
Keburia is part of a rising group of fashion talents hailing from Tbilisi. “I’m super-happy that the attention is so big, because two or three years ago, no one was paying attention to us. We were a very small country. Poor,” he says.
Keburia’s success is inspiring, considering he is entirely self-taught. And interestingly, if he hadn’t become a fashion designer, he says he would have pursued a career in tennis. “I think since childhood I wanted to become a fashion designer,” he says. “I also [wanted] to become a tennis player. I loved tennis a lot, yes, but it was too late for me. I started training at 15.” He soon began to design on the side while pursuing a degree in business management, but school didn’t last long. “I just left it and started doing collections,” he says.
Although Keburia’s success can be attributed to eyewear, his ready-to-wear collections should not be discounted. His recent collection, shown during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi, showcased his design skills, drawing inspiration from vintage naval uniforms while infusing them with pops of color and a futuristic twist. (Outfits were paired with sunglasses, of course.)
Keburia admits he’s been shocked by the global success of his sunglasses. “Oh, it’s crazy for me,” he says. “I didn’t expect such attention, such success. It was really huge for me.”
Something tells us this won’t be the last we’ll see of the designer.
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
• Why the fashion industry loves Tbilisi, Georgia
• 12 small-framed sunnies inspired by Alexander Wang x Gentle Monster collaboration
• MMA fighter takes on masculinity in flowery new fashion campaign